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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Morris Bridge
Illinois River Highway Crossing
Morris, IL

Morris Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 000032009935856
• Location: River Mile 263.4
• River Elevation: 483 Feet
• Highway: IL-47
• Daily Traffic Count: 19,200 (2005)
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder Concrete Deck
• Bridge Length: 1,730 Feet, 410 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 61 Feet, 4 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: ??? Feet
• Height Above Water: ??? Feet
• Date Built: Competed November 2002
The Morris Bridge is very new, having been completed in late 2002. The old bridge was a graceful metal monster built from 5 sections of Pennsylvania style through truss spans. The old bridge, built in 1934 and rehabilitated in 1978, was 1,456 feet long, had a 363 foot main span supporting a 350 foot wide navigation channel. It stood 50 feet from the water to low steel. The key figure that lead to its eventual doom was its 22 foot deck width. That was too narrow for modern highway lanes, and two lanes was too few to support a growing region.

To meet the needs of the 21st century, a modern steel girder bridge supporting 4 traffic lanes and a 10 foot wide regional trail was built. To meet the needs of river navigation, the bridge was built with a 410-foot main span soaring high over the water. Side spans of 300 feet and 360 feet flank the main span. The new bridge is purely functional with no decorative elements. The piers are large and blocky, designed to withstand the pressures of ice and barge strikes. The lighting consists of standard street lamps, and the guard rails are very typical for newer highway bridges in Illinois. Regardless of how interesting a structure looks, it has to function properly over the long haul. There is no doubt that the IL-47 bridge meets that goal.

There is good access under the north end of the bridge. The I&M Canal runs under the far north end of the bridge, along with the tow path trail. There is also a boat launch and city park between the canal and the Illinois River.

Morris Bridge
Morris Bridge
Morris Bridge
Morris Bridge
Morris Bridge
Morris Bridge

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